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diy: memories [calendar]

Since I became a mom a few years ago, I have started to realize how little I can actually remember things, especially the ones I thought I would never forget… like when my daughter started walking or talking or saying the cutest first words… you know, things like that!

I think in the hustle & bustle of the craziness that is parenthood, it is very easy to forget than to remember. Even though on my baby shower, among other things, I received a beautiful journal from my sister to record all the oh-so-cute things Sophia will be doing during her first years, I don’t remember if I ever wrote a single word.

I remember, my dad always urged us to keep a daily diary. He would encourage us by giving us the beautiful leather bound calendar diaries that were given out every year by the company he worked for. I tried and I tried. But I could not make a habit out of it. Though, I must admit, today I would love to read whatever I did write back then!

Now that I am perplexed by how little I remember to be able to pass on to my daughter… I have decided to put a little effort into this. Sure, I have tons of photographs and videos of Sophia, her scribbles and doodles since the time she picked up her first crayon to almost every outfit she has ever worn after coming into this world… but nothing written out with my own hands, in my own hand writing – nothing that gives her a better idea of who her parents are!

So, to start off, here is a simple project I found on the net that ‘seems’ easy enough to add to my routine and possibly, through years, will make for memorable heirlooms.

- What are you doing to save your memories? When it came time to tell stories to your children & grandchildren, will you rely simply on your brain’s memory?

 

Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal

The following is a basic idea of a perpetual calendar. You simply add the current year on each card on the specific day, note down something, anything, small or big that happened that day and you are done! Make sure to repeat the same every year.

Personalize it however you like. The possibilities are endless. In fact, it would be fun to make this for each member of the family incorporating a theme or design of their choice – would be nice to see other people’s perspective on the same date!

Materials:fruit box and 12 postcards (can be found at flea markets)180 4 x 6″ lined index cardsdate stamppaper cutter (or scissors)twine (for gift wrapping)

Step 1: Cut Index cards into halves

Step 2: Stamp the month and date on each card

Step 3: Trim postcards to the same width of the cut index cards and just a bit longer than the index cards

Step 4: Organize postcards by date, dividing each month with the postcards

Step 5: Tie the twine and you are done! Great for gift giving too

 
(project idea & image source: The ultimate diy guide site: Design Sponge)
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To ‘diy’ or not to ‘diy’

I am not crafty (in any sense of the word) but that is not to say I do not appreciate a smart craft when I see one! Also, with endless amounts of creative and fun do-it-yourself ideas out there these days, one is bound to get all nifty once in a while.

Today we have an extensive line of micro businesses based on, what could be called, the Re-Economy; economy based on the Re-purposed, Re-finished & Re-mixed! Generally speaking, I think there are three main reasons people have become diy junkies in the past couple of years:

{ONE}  With our world economies being as unpredictable as they are and art & design trends mixing with each other on unprecedented levels, I think people have become ever more inclined to evaluate their buying choices at multiple levels… meaning, they really want everything to be truly versatile. They want latest style, functionality, quality, brand name, resale value… all at an affordable price tag.

We want Mostnot morefor the money! A great way to ensure we get it, many of us have gone the route of building stuff ourselves or even better, re-purposing the old & mixing in the new to suit their personal style.

{TWO} Then there’s the same old need to be different… to be unique. Which I totally understand. Really, is there any one left on this planet (exaggeration) who did NOT buy the “Lack” Side Table from IKEA?

"Lack" Side Table - IKEA

Don’t take me wrong, I do love this table and trust me, I know how stupendous of a deal it is at $12.99!!! But seriously, it can be so much more than what it is with such less effort.

subtle but creative alterations to the Lack side table from IKEA

{THIRD}  Lastly, I think we are all, in many ways, simply going back to the basics. To the things that really matter. Things like, the human factor! Homemade jams, pickles, aprons, quilts, doll houses, toys… all things have one thing in common: a (person)ality. With most stuff being factory manufactured today, we have lost sight of the person building it hence we have no instant emotional connection to these things.

By creating things ourselves, we are not only satisfying our inner passion, possibly getting more for our money, but also, very importantly, adding an unmeasurable value to them. We are, in our own way, making heirlooms of our memories.

Happy Diy-ing :)

what a great project!

so simple & practical. two tables stacked together and finished off with a butcher board

a little diy idea for the "Lack" Coffee Table by IKEA

image credits:
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coming soon…

After disappearing for over a month, I am shamelessly back at writing and without getting into the details of what kept me away … let me just update you guys on what’s coming up.

Actually, a lot of exciting posts are  in the oven and, slowly and gradually, I will bring them to you as I try to find the quiet and peace to do so. As many of you might know, I have a 2.5 year old daughter who is as full of life as any other kid her age should be … and then some :) Therefore, jotting down my thoughts on a more regular manner is a challenge to say the least.

I am looking forward to a more structured blogging schedule in months to come once I finally move to our new house in February. YES! can not wait. Which reminds me that I will also be sharing my decor inspirations and ideas for the new house as I collect them. I am always researching, even when I am not blogging, and it is so hard not to share all the awesome stuff on my blog. However, in the last months, for the sake of my own sanity, I have resisted :)

Here are a few upcoming posts I am super excited about:

- A “Live In” column where I will share my take on how to recreate decor of famous movies: Hollywood & Bollywood!

- Fun and simple DIY craft ideas!

- “Word of Mouth” – a mini interview series about design, fashion & lifestyle choices “real” everyday people make and why!

Also, I promise to add more of my personal photography whenever possible… however, I have to admit, I am a sucker for photography – be it fashion, lifestyle or abstract – and the avid admirer in me will always urge me to share other photographers’ works; my way of paying homage to them :)

stay tuned, my friends.

my dream blogger's heaven :) wouldn't mind being here right now!

 

photo credits:

mirror-front-snow-white-huntsman-trailer
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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Growing up, I just loved the story of Snow White. Between books and television, I have read and seen almost all versions of this fairy tale over the years. And now with ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ movie releasing in the new year, I can not wait to go watch it. Especially, after watching the trailer with Charlize Theron playing The Queen… ah, what a splendid choice!

I am in love with the way she delivers, what could be one of the most powerful questions of all story-times:

‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All?’

Every time I hear this dialogue, it makes me wonder what our world would be like if there were no Mirrors! Would we feel the same about ourselves if we never really saw ourselves? No way to know what we look like… no sure way to recognize ourselves even if we saw our own photograph! Scary, very very scary thought.

But let’s just get back to the topic for now… as thankfully, we DO have mirrors and aside from literally saving our species from becoming faceless, a mirror can do wonders for any space, design-wise. I adore old ornate mirrors and especially love their addition to an otherwise minimal and modern decor of a room. I believe a mirror’s look and design should have the intrigue… that compels one to look into them. Remember, a mirror’s reflection adds grandeur and expansion to a space but it’s design frames our image of ‘self’.

Although, the Mirror in the new ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ movie looks nothing like a conventional mirror, here are a few design ideas, inspired by the original dark and decadent character of ‘The Queen’. These would be powerful in any space and I can assure you, you would not be able to resist standing in front of these only to ask yourself the very same question… ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…’

Just don’t blame me for the consequences :)

Some modern variations of the amazing baroque mirror for the more risk-taking eccentric in you!

My ultimate favorite… subtle, sweet and fresh yet ornate and with lots of character! Also, how can one go wrong with blacks and whites :)

images source:

  • click on individual image to visit source
  • click here to see featured image source
another portrait of NYC
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International Street Photography Awards 2011

Being a huge admirer of photojournalism, any type of natural and candid photography catches my attention. Street Photography is one such genre of photography where the real skill lies in finding that right moment to capture a ”pure” image – pure in the sense that the subjects, their actions, and expressions are not posed or forced while they directly or indirectly interact with their surroundings.

Recently, I came across an article about the  “2011 International Street Photography Awards” hosted by the “London Street Photography Festival” and I was immediately taken to the variety of artistic images submitted from all around the globe showcasing little pieces of the photographers’ worlds.

I am sharing a few of my favorites, selected from the finalists’ entries. You can see more at London Street Photography Festival and while you are there, maybe submit a some of your own as they are looking for submissions for the 2012 Awards! Good Luck!

{ note to self: make more time in 2012 for some serious street photography! }

 

people on the street almost line up with the models' heads peeking through the store behind the wall!

child playing with his dad while in line at Mac Donald

"symbolisms are an interesting aesthetic problem" - Simon Becker (photographer)

Afghan civilians build new police station in Kandahar City

slice of a New York City street

"there are no orthogonal lines in nature" - Simon Becker (photographer)

living in NYC

in Barcelona

life in New York City

" ypsilon is the german word for the (symmetric) letter 'Y' " - Simon Becker (photographer)

" 'onde' means 'wave' in french. the newspaper is of course 'le monde' " - Simon Becker (photographer)

"A day of photography, one day meeting in an alley, a strange appointment" - Julien Coquentin (photographer)

in Central Havana

love the composition and contrast!

lines & curves on snow in the city

another portrait of NYC

 

reference reads:

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Inspiration: black & white stripes

B&W Zebra by Elle Arden

No one wears the stripes as well as the Zebras do!

However, we will always try :)

I’m in love with these bold looks incorporating our inspiration of the day:

(1) - Bold black & white patterns, antique rustic gold accessories, warm wood furnishings, bright color accents. Modern yet with character... my absolute favourite!

(2) - Clean and Contemporary

(3) - so minimal, so luxurious

(4) - reminds me of "Nightmare Before Christmas"

(5) - A cocktail dress for a chair - who cares what you wear to this party!

(6) - Sweet!

(7) - So nautical

(8) - Even the dolls are inspired!

(9) - from the people who really know design; BMW MINI

(10) - Very hard to pull off but if you can, it's a statement!

(11) - Giuseppe Zanotto Slingbacks - Love the leopard trim accent

(12) - Horizontal stripes - dare to wear!

(13) - Vince Camuto cuff - LOVE!

(14) - Definitely at the top of my shopping list for 2012!

(15) - Black, White and Red... works everytime!

 

images source:

  1. Black & White Striped Room by Elle Decor
  2. Room in Pheonix by Nate Berkus Interiors
  3. The Ocean Sailor bathtub by Bagno Sasso
  4. Pinterest
  5. Wildflower Linens
  6. Black & White Striped Straws
  7. Pinterest
  8. Jadeness Couture
  9. BMW MINI Wallet
  10. Balmain Striped Jeans
  11. Giuseppo Zanotto Slingbacks
  12. Pinterest.com
  13. Vince Camuto Cuff
  14. Pinterest
  15. A Cocktail Dress

 

baby in bath tub
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Opulence for Little Ones

 

Honestly, these are extravagant!

However, I have to admit, if I had a million dollars to spare after charitable contributions, paying off whatever I lease/mortgage, investing in my family’s future AND buying as many expensive shoes and fountain pens (still two of my all-time obsessions), a couple of these opulent items might make the cut. In the meantime, I’ll just wait for these to pop up on ebay or craig’s list :)

Be warned… some of these are way too ridiculous – well, on second thought, ridiculousness is subjective :p

“Majestic Carriage Crib” at $20,000

Ahem! what can I say, it's opulent?!

 

“FAO Exclusive Barbie Foosball Table” at $25,000

Seriously? Like the only reason more girls might not be interested in a foosball table was because it didn't have female players. On a side note, this is also a little insulting to "Ken" - the least they could do is let him be part of the team - he's a Barbie too, you know!

Hair all done up, big bright Barbie smiles on their faces... these Barbies definitely look ready to play a very very rough sport, right?

 

“FAO Exclusive Jeweled Classic Etch-A-Sketch” at $15,000

For all your luxurious ideas!

 

“Swarovski Csrystal-Covered” case for $1000 and “My Carry Potty” at only $32

You are not yet a princess until you have a blinged out potty!

 

 “Album Di Famiglia Swaddler & Duvet Set” for $400

At a mere $400, you are literally wrapping your baby in money!

 

“FENDI Zucca Snowsuit with Fur + Mittens + Booties” for $670!

Correct me if I am wrong, but one could buy a snow blower for that price tag!

 

“Diamond Pacifier” for $17,000 – they’ll have to fully fund my child’s university education to get me measly interested!

The store's selling pitch: "There's no better way to show your super cool kids how much you love them than by getting them this 14k gold and diamond studded pacifier! At a measly $17,000, why not get one as a gift too? We'll even throw in the shipping for FREE!" - BABY WIT (online retailer)

 

And finally, “The Diamond Bathtub” for $5,200 – probably the  most ridiculous of them all, with all due respect to Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child of course, who reportedly gifted this blinged out bath tub to her bff Beyonce (source: Bump.com).

Why most ridiculous? Well… the retailer is so proud of their genius that, for just $5,200, they offer an array of creative ideas on how to re-use this extravagant buy. Ideas like “centerpiece at parties”, “beverage chiller, and “fun bath time for your pets”…

Enough Said!

 

 Reference Reads:

devil angel
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Good Things Come in Pairs!

This post is definitely a little early, with Valentine’s Day still a few months away, but I couldn’t resist sharing these adorable finds with everyone.

We all know that there is absolutely no end to the variety of unique gifts available out there for… well, pretty much every relationship imaginable. Still, for most of us, when it comes to finding the right gift for that right person at the right occasion, our brains have a way of being lost in action. The pressure to perform is inevitable. Especially, if the gifts we choose to give are destined to stand trial against the ones we receive!

Like the ones for Valentine’s Day or Wedding Anniversary… or worse, Dating Anniversary: the mere ability to remember this occasion can be a trial in itself for spouses of certain gender ;) Now, now. Let’s not get into the details of what a Dating Anniversary is, shall we?

My finds for today neither require an occasion nor are they too expensive – not even hard to find. But make for sweet, witty and sometimes funny little reminders of your sentiments – great for couples. They are simple everyday items like pillowcases or drinking glasses but with a slight twist. These one’s got something to say… to each other!

At times, all we need is an idea and this idea has endless possibilities. You can try making your own versions at home or like me, if you lack the DIY gene, just buy!

IN THE BEDROOM

"Soulmate Pillowcases" at "BoldLoft.com" for $30/pair

"Man (+) / Woman (-) Pillowcases" at "BoldLoft.com" for $18/pair

"A Big Kiss Pillowcases" at "BoldLoft.com" for $36/pair

"Angel & Devil Pillowcases" by "Pop Pillows"

"Lust & Chastity Pillowcases" at "UncommonGoods.com" for $50/pair

 

IN THE KITCHEN

"You're Irresistable" Drinking Glasses by "BoldLoft.com" for $20/pair

 

 IN STYLE

"You Complete Me" Couples T-Shirts by "BoldLoft.com" for $42/pair

"We're Irresistably Attracted" Couple T-Shirt by "BoldLoft.com" for $42/pair

 

What do you think people? Would any of these make your shopping list? Personally, I love the Batman / Catgirl t-shirts!

Stay tuned for more unique, fun gift ideas – Coming soon!

Reference Reads:

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Launching…

“It took 3 days!

That’s what Raheel Gauba wrote as a test post while launching this blog earlier today. It is kind of true you know. It did take us just three days from the time I informed Raheel of my decision to enhance the web of this wide, wide world with my own intricacies and sometimes creepy thoughts, to today – the launch day!

However, making the decision to do so took a lot more days. Lots more. Three years actually. But that’s just how things happen for me. Ever heard of analysis paralysis? Well, now you have. I am, what one would call, a professional-grade analytical machine (P.A.M., for all you acronym lovers out there). The more insignificant the object or idea, the harder and longer I analyze. For me, the fun really is in the journey… as much as at the destination. So much so, that I hardly get to the destination on time, if I get there at all. BUT, I love the journey.

Also, I am not sure if my Heart and Brain are on good terms with each other. Communication, as in most earthly relationships, seems to be the issue. And between you and me, I think they are a little jealous of each others’ powers. For instance, both have been arguing over who gets the credit for my decision to blog. What will I do, you ask? Well, what do you think? I’ll analyze it of course!

Having a blog of my own always seemed so… natural, like evolution. And just like evolution, the idea needed to go through many changes before it could take it’s final shape. It took me years to stop procrastinating and waiting for that 11th Commandment to reveal itself with instructions like…

“Six days shalt thou Blog, and do no other work”

or some similar Godly message. These years, however, will always remain a beautiful memory of my journey.

I am here now. Everything is in place. Including my 2 year old, who is in bed. (holy crap, did I just say “my 2 year old”? that sounded so “mommy” like! but that’s another topic for another day).

Ready to write, ready to evolve. I am!

 

(image courtesy of Davide Restivo)

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